Director camps out

In a city filled with individuals who dream of “making it big” in the motion picture industry, Drew Foster ’08 is one of the few that have already achieved this goal by age 17. Foster has been making short films over the last few years and was a student director in the Playwrights Festival last year.

This summer Foster was asked to contribute to a documentary which spotlighted Camp Woz, a camp based in Northern California for juvenile delinquents. Camp Woz is no ordinary camp, as it was founded and is run by Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers.

The camp gives juvenile delinquents a second chance in life by exposing them to technology like computers and computer programs that the participants would never have access to otherwise. The participants all reside in New Jersey and are part of Monmouth Cares, a juvenile delinquent program in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Only 10 teenagers, ages 14 to 20, were selected out of hundreds to be a part of the inaugural session at Camp Woz.

Foster got involved with the making of the documentary after a friend, Jarrad Kritzstein, was hired by both Wozniak and Joe Patain. Patain is a producer and a social worker and runs Joe’s World Foundation, which has incorporated Camp Woz.

Kritzstein is mainly an editor and asked Foster to be the director and help him document Camp Woz. Foster and Kritzstein were given a budget to purchase equipment before actual shooting took place.
“We spent the first three weeks pre-productioning and buying the equipment for the film,” Foster said.

Foster and Kritzstein were given a budget of around $20,000, which included not only pre-production costs but post-production costs as well. When the camp started, each camper was given a new Apple Powerbook laptop, iPod and digital camera by Wozniak and was given private tutorials on how to use their new equipment.

“Sometimes the staff outnumbered the campers 2 to 1,” Foster said. “But mostly tutorials given by Mac Geniuses were given in a one to one setting.”

The film is 80 minutes long and features not only footage of the camp but interviews with the participants.

Foster and Kritzstein are submitting their film to the Sundance Film Festival, along with other film festivals in the nation.

The Sundance Film Festival is the premier location for independent American and international filmmakers to premiere their work.

Foster and Kritzstein have been in contact with a team of investors who produced “3:10 to Yuma” and have also spoken with the producer of “Monster” and “My Date with Drew” to work out distribution of their film.

“We hope to have a national distribution or a bi-coastal distribution,” Foster said.

Foster now plans on focusing with finalizing distribution and perfecting the film before pursuing any future projects. He is the student chair of the Harvard-Westlake film festival with Max Grey ’08, and is continuing to create short films in his free time.

“This whole process started as an unforgettable film experience, and became an unforgettable life experience,” Foster said.

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